The market researcher, although still preparing to officially release the study, revealed that less than half (47%) of prestige brands in its' Index were found to provide gift guides on their site.
The figure further drops to 11% for mass brands, and as 50% of UK shoppers are reported to get their ideas for Christmas gifts through online search, L2 says brands are missing out on online and brick-and-mortar sales opportunities.
The 2015 Digital IQ Index Beauty | UK, soon to be published, focuses on the gift season, which the firm attributes to about a third of annual beauty sales. In 2013, those sales were broken down into 36% for online purchases and 28% offline.
However, Clarins and Aveda are among the exceptions...
While L2 says UK brands are not effectively targeting consumers, Clarins and Aveda were found to be among the exceptions who have invested in capturing the attention of holiday gift-givers.
Clarins has a wish list feature promoted on its social channels, and encourages browsers to complete a transaction by advertising a “festive gift” with purchase, while Aveda invested in a YouTube video as part of its holiday campaign, placed prominently on its homepage.
In terms of category breakdown, fragrances not surprisingly, were the most popular to give as a gift, with 45% of the year’s online sales and 37% of brick-and-mortar sales occurring in December.
'Clicks verses bricks'
According to expert opinion, tomorrow’s successful retail experiences will depend on the complete multi-channel experience.
"We need to stop thinking about digital marketing and start thinking about marketing in a digital world," Marc Mathieu, global SVP of marketing at Unilever, said a year ago at the Global Marketers Conference. "Think about connection first and build content around that."
Craig R. Johnson, president of Customer Growth Partners, a retail consulting and research firm, agreed.
“An Apple store doesn’t just exist to sell iPads and MacBook Pros; it exists to create a brand experience that builds loyalty, brand and buzz,” he told the New York Times last year. “The Internet is emotionally a very flat experience. It can never match the experience of being there in person.”
It looks like tomorrow’s brands will privilege neither bricks nor clicks: the most successful campaigns will rely on a synergy of both.